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Trail Creek, Alder Creek, & Sand Lake Fire Info 09/29/2021

Open House: Thursday, September 30, from 6 pm to 7 pm at the Wise River Community Center, Wise River, Montana. Incident personnel will be on hand to brief community members and answer questions regarding the Trail Creek, Alder Creek, and Sand Lake fires. Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, we encourage everyone to adhere to current CDC guidelines regarding use of masks, social distancing, and handwashing.

Important! For the safety of aerial resources and firefighters on the ground, please do not fly unmanned aircraft (drones) in the fire vicinities. If you fly, we can’t.

TRAIL CREEK FIRE [Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 57,325 acres | 75% contained]:

Yesterday’s colder temperatures and some rain and snow in the fire area helped with mop-up and containment efforts along the south and west sides of the fire perimeter. Firefighters will monitor and patrol fireline east of Big Hole Pass, from Gibbonsville Road north to Rabbit Creek and to the dozer line west of Morgan Jones Lake. Crews will establish a hose lay along Nez Perce Ridge to Lookout Point. On the west edge, firefighters will seek opportunities to construct direct line through the head of Cabinet Creek drainage to tie the line into existing black. They will continue to use direct and indirect fireline to secure fire in the head of Smithy Creek drainage and connect to the containment line on Anderson Ridge Road. North of Highway 43, crews are engaged in suppression repair work and backhauling equipment no longer needed.

ALDER CREEK FIRE [Start Date: July 8, 2021 | Cause: Lightning | 36,538 acres | 45% contained]:

With cooler weather, quieter fire behavior was seen yesterday and is expected across the fire area today. Firefighters will continue to secure line along the west flank of the spot fire near Sawlog Creek. Engine and hand crews will monitor and patrol fireline southwest from Bryant

Creek Road to Sawlog Creek and continue structure protection where needed. Crews and heavy equipment operators are working on suppression repair activities along the eastern perimeter. The repair group will continue to process and stack logs from the previously

constructed fuel breaks.

SAND LAKE FIRE [Start Date: September 1, 2021 | Cause: Unknown | 228 acres]:

Fire growth and activity on the Sand Lake Fire has been minimal and is being monitored by air.

WEATHER/FIRE BEHAVIOR: Cool and dry conditions are expected today, with clouds along the mountains that will clear up by this afternoon. Temperatures will see highs in the 40s at higher elevations and mid-50s in the valleys, with lows in the 8-to-15-degree range. The moisture brought by the cold front increased relative humidity values, reducing fire activity to minimal creeping and smoldering in heavy fuels. Cooler temperatures and moderate humidity levels are expected through Thursday morning, followed by a slow warming trend.

SAFETY: Gibbonsville, Idaho, remains in “Ready” evacuation status. U.S. Route 93, Highway 43 (Chief Joseph Pass to Wise River), and the Pioneer Scenic Byway are OPEN to through traffic. Please be careful of fire crews working in these areas and watch for trees, rocks, and



• Portions of the Continental Divide Trail remain closed.

• The Big Hole National Battlefield is closed until further notice.

• May Creek Campground and Steel Creek Campground are closed.

• Closure orders remain in effect on the Salmon-Challis National Forest (, the Beaverhead- Deerlodge National Forest (, and the Bureau of Land Management.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Public lands in southwest Montana and central Idaho are in varying stages of fire restrictions. Check and for the latest information.

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